Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Following the Money

April Ponnuru posted an article on The Corner titled The White House’s Attack on Medicare’s Prescription-Drug Plans Is Obamacare 2.0. In this post she defends Bush's prescription drug bill, which as we know was a giveaway to the drug industry.

April Ponnuru is the wife of Ramesh Ponnuru and was Executive Director of  the National Review Institute. She is now Policy Director at YG Network. YG Network is a 501(c)(4), as is the YG Action Fund. The "YG" stands for Young Guns, tea-party  politicians determined to supplant an older Republican establishment.

From Roll Call:

It’s not easy to explain the three entities that fall under the YG umbrella — all of which have nuanced missions and legally separate purposes. There’s the super PAC, YG Action Fund; the nonprofit, YG Network; and the wonk shop, YG Policy Center.

They make independent expenditures for candidates, such as Hudson, through the super PAC. Among other missions, the nonprofit served as a testing group for energy policy messaging in the Indiana primary. It also recently started a partnership to cultivate young donors with MavPAC, a political project of George P. Bush.

John Murray is both the Senior Strategist for YG Network and the president, founder and treasurer of YG Action Fund. The latter had little resources until it received a $5,000,000 donation from Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson. Dr. and Mr. Adelson founded the Adelson Clinics, which treat drug addiction with methadone. The YG Network is, ostensibly:
The YG Network is organized as a non-profit 501(c)(4) dedicated to supporting conservative center-right policies and the efforts of policymakers who fight for those policies. By seeking solutions that create jobs, encourage innovation, instill fiscal discipline, establish a patient-centered health care system and pursue energy security, we can foster the optimal environment for America’s businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed and flourish. The YG Network will operate independently of any officeholder, candidate or political party.
So it is a wonder that Mrs. Ponnuru would support the socialist Medicare Part D.
Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs for senior citizens, is one of the few government health-care programs that has demonstrated success in increasing coverage, reducing costs, and improving the health of its beneficiaries. The Obama administration’s new regulations threaten this achievement. Part D has worked so well because it is more market-oriented than most health programs.  
But the administration appears to want to remake it in the image of Obamacare — inserting the federal government into negotiations between prescription-drug providers and pharmacies, limiting the number of prescription-drug plans an insurance company can offer, and putting an end to the preferred pharmacy networks that have dramatically reduced costs for America’s seniors.

Until you follow the money. Then it becomes the most natural thing in the world for Mrs. Ponnuru to state that the free market functions better when the producer is able to control prices and the consumer is not able to negotiate for lower prices.

The YG has had a few bumps in its short history.
Much of the organization's money -- likely including that additional amount not reported to the FEC -- went to digital and radio ad campaigns in support of various hot-button issues like the sequester. Among the ads the YG Network paid for in 2012 were a digital and radio campaign warning of the dangers of automatic budget cuts to national security, as well as a digital campaign focusing on preventing tax hikes for small businesses. In addition, though -- despite stating on its tax documents that it was formed "primarily for the purpose of informing the public on, and advocating for" various conservative issues -- YG Network got involved in several big congressional races in 2012. During the Indiana Senate GOP primary it generated some controversy when it spent $200,000 on mailers encouraging votes for incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) over his challenger, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Many Republicans were angered by the fact that the mailers targeted Democrats and independent voters, urging them to support Lugar. In the end, the mailers didn't make much of a difference: Lugar lost to Mourdock in the primary, who subsequently lost to Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly. Overall, YG Network spent nearly $2.9 million directly asking people to vote for or against 24 congressional candidates in 2012.
Mrs. Ponnuru is a perfect fit for her organization's goals and actions.


fish said...

This is the second time this week I heard George P. Bush's name mentioned. Why it is almost like he is beginning to position himself for some kind of political career and other people are helping him...

Susan of Texas said...

First we had Bush then Shrub. Now we have Weed. And not the good kind.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Makes me laugh when we hear "our" corporatists lecturing other countries about DEMOCRACY™.

Susan of Texas said...

Yep. But grinding someone's face in the dirt is no fun unless you can criticize your victim for having a dirty face.